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February 22, 2016

Society is Broken as Long as It Protects Rape Culture.

broken glass(TW: for mentions of abuse, stalking and harassment. No details, but I know that it can bring up a lot of emotions.)

In the last week or so, Zoe Quinn announced that she wouldn’t be pursuing legal action against her ex boyfriend. Because she realized that it wouldn’t help. In Zian Ghomeshi’s trial, the victims were scrutinized for their behavior- asked how their hair was styled when he pulled on their hair, if they could remember what kind of car he drove, why they kept contact with him after the alleged abuse. On Friday, Kesha lost her legal battle against Sony and producer Dr. Luke. The singer was trying to be released from her contract, saying that after she had admitted that he abused her, he had intentionally been holding her career hostage.

There’s something very wrong here.

I learned not to trust authorities in high school, when I was stalked. The student didn’t show up at my house, though there were a lot of hang up calls. He did follow me around campus and find me in moments where I was isolated. I felt unsafe. When I went to the administration, I was told that I shouldn’t feel frightened of his affection. That instead I should be flattered by his attention.

When I later reported a case of harassment (technically assault since the guy fondled me) at an employer, I was told there was nothing they could do. It was his word against mine. As though that was an obvious problem.

Hell, I was upfront about what happened to me when the Thief stole a sex tape from TheBoy and I – and while it was obvious just who this person was, scores of our mutual friends said nothing. And picked a side, simply by remaining silent. They didn’t shun him. If anything, they treat me differently now.

We live in a world where this is normal. If you talk to the women in your life, odds are that my stories aren’t that out there. It’s somehow acceptable to ignore the damage and harm being done to women. And why? To protect the status quo, whether it’s financial (as in Kesha’s case) or social.

I’m sick of it. I’m tired of it. The news on Friday hurt so much that I just wanted to curl up in a ball and sleep. Because with all I’ve been through, I’d hoped that maybe things had changed since 2000. They’ve only gotten worse.

It can get better. On my part, I’m teaching my boys to be better. I’m refusing to stay quiet. What are you going to do?

photo credit: through shattered glass via photopin (license). Photo cropped from original.

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